The 20 Best Adult Christmas Songs

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

We hear all the standards, in department stores, on holiday radio stations, and in the offices of dentists and doctors. Those melodic, saccharine Christmas songs that are embedded in your brain no matter what time of year or season it is.

Well, that’s why we thought we would assemble for you a Christmas playlist for after-dark. Here, are some funny, sultry, steamy, and even thought-provoking songs that talk about everything from madness to lust to the ghetto.

So, sit back, put your adult hat on, and let’s dive into the 20 best adult Christmas songs, shall we?

1. “Santa Baby” by Madonna

An alluring holiday standard sung by the Queen of Pop, the blonde bombshell herself, Madonna. This is as flirtatious as it gets when it comes to the holiday season.

2. “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey

Well, actually. This one by Mariah Carey might be the most guilty of batting eyelashes. It has also become the modern standard for holiday songs.

3. “Someday At Christmas” by Stevie Wonder

A song that highlights the violence done around the world, this song makes us think. Just when we’re opening presents and eating feasts, many have it so much different.

4. “Mistletoe” by Justin Bieber

Taking a cue from Mariah and Madonna, Justin Bieber brings a flirty song to life with this love letter to the apple of his eye.

5. “Never Felt Like Christmas” by Lizzo

In “Never Felt Like Christmas,” Lizzo does two things in just a few lyrics: She shows herself as one of those who likes to not indulge in the pageantry of the holiday. (Think Chinese food and nail painting). And then she talks about the love she feels for a new interest. Sweet and real.

6. “Don’t Shoot Me Santa” by The Killers

A song title that would stir any celebrator. This song features the piercing vocals of frontman Brandon Flowers and a dark narrative about death.

7. “Wit It This Christmas” by Ariana Grande

We don’t need no mistletoe. But there is still room for an embrace in this holiday pop hit.

8. “Hard Candy Christmas” by Dolly Parton

The final scene in the movie, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, this song is about possibilities in the face of some hard times. Put your best face on.

9. “Christmas In Hollis” by Run-DMC

The best hip-hop Christmas song to date (and ever).

10. “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)” by the Ramones

A song about keeping calm at this time when heartfelt thoughts are supposed to be top of mind. Despite the season, it can be easy to fight—in bars, with family. But the Ramones caution.

11. “The Night Santa Went Crazy” by Weird Al

In true Weird Al fashion, this song is goofy and catchy. It’s about, well, the night Santa Claus went “crazy.”

12. “Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin'” by Albert King

Yes, he does. Who doesn’t? This blues jam is a hit.

13. “Back Door Santa” by Clarence Carter

Not only is this the song that Run-DMC sampled for their Christmas hit, “Christmas In Hollis,” but this song is fun, raunchy, and very adult.

14. “Christmas Card From a Hooker In Minneapolis” by Tom Waits

The title says it all.

15. “Santa Claus, Go Straight to the Ghetto” by James Brown

A funk song—no, a directive—about Ol’ Saint Nick visiting everyone, especially those who deserve it most.

16. “Ain’t No Chimneys in the Projects” by Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings

Another song about the difference between the way many in the world live. A division felt often during the holiday season.

17. “I Won’t Decorate Your Christmas Tree This Year” by Loretta Lynn

A tune about independence. Who better to deliver it (in a country tone) than Loretta Lynn?

18. “Po’ Folks Christmas” by Bill Anderson

Charity is important this time of year. Let’s not forget that.

19. “Fairytale of New York” by The Pogues

Is this a Christmas fight song? It certainly is!

20. “All I Want Is Megan Fox For Christmas” by LeBon LeBon

A, well, more specific take on Mariah’s. This song knows what it wants.

Photo by Gotham/Getty Images

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